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 • Jefferson County
 • Florida
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Gen William Bailey
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Birth: Apr. 4, 1790
Camden County
Georgia, USA
Death: Dec. 27, 1867
Tallahassee
Leon County
Florida, USA

The oldest son of John and Elizabeth Bailey, William made his home in Jefferson County about 1822. At the beginning of his career he was a poor man, but by his industry, ability and indomitable courage, he amassed a fortune, and was a large land and slave owner. On a wooded eminence, surrounded by thousands of acres of rich farmlands and virgin forests, the inheritance of his wife from her father, he built a beautiful home, naming it The Cedars. This antebellum home possessed all the comforts and conveniences possible in those days.

William Bailey was active in the Seminole wars and was made colonel in 1840. Later he was given a General's commission. During the Indian massacres, he headed a company of volunteers, who were in the field 52 days, protecting the settlements from the Indians, by incessant scouting, attacks and pursuits. When the depredations of the savages ceased, the population of the county increased; houses were built, more land was taken up for farming, and a sense of ease and security pervaded the country.

The main article of production was cotton and a large number of bales was grown each year. The raw material was spun and woven at the plantation on spinning wheels and hand looms, by the more expert slaves, for the use of the household and dependants. This was tedious work that consumed much time, which caused William Bailey to conceive the idea of operating a textile mill. In 1856, the Southern Rights Manufacturing Co. was established near Monticello, and it was a boon to the cotton planters.

William Bailey founded the State Bank of Florida in the capital city in 1856. This bank has the proud record of being the oldest bank in the State.

In 1849 Elizabeth Bellamy Bailey died and William married the widow of General Leigh Reade, Eliza Branch, who had one daughter, Theresa Reade. In 1854, a son was born to them, and his name was Edward Bradford. His mother died when he was three and a half years of age and his half sister, Sarah Burch Lamar, was his foster mother until he became of school age.

William Bailey was married the third time in 1860 to Grace Ware, of Wareland. He was seventy years of age when the civil strife began, and, though he was not equal to the part of active patriot, he performed great service for the cause. He used the output of his textile mill for the use of the Confederate army and poor people. He clothed, at his own expense, the two companies of the 5th Florida regiment, commanded by his sons, Captain William Bailey, Jr., and Captain Abram Z. Bailey.

Despite the great age of William Bailey, he was with the Confederate troops at the battle of Olustee. When the war ended, he was broken in health, having paid so dearly for his patriotism in the loss of his sons and his son-in-law. He passed away December 27, 1867, at the age of seventy-seven. His body was brought in state, on a special train from Tallahassee, and buried in the family cemetery on the Bellamy plantation. He suffered many financial losses during the war, but he was enabled, with what was left, to provide generously for the children and grandchildren who survived him. His was a unique figure in the history of the State. He became a rich man, but he possessed the greatest sympathy for the less fortunate than he. 
 
Family links: 
 Spouses:
  Mary Elizabeth Bellamy Bailey (1804 - 1849)
  Mary Eliza Branch Bailey (1815 - 1858)
  Grace Arrington Ware Bailey (1810 - 1901)
 
 Children:
  Margaret Elizabeth Bailey (1827 - 1854)*
  Sarah Burch Bailey Lamar (1830 - 1909)*
  William Bailey (1832 - 1865)*
  Theresa Read Bailey (1834 - 1853)*
  Mary B. Bailey (1836 - 1852)*
  Martha Lydia Bailey Hawkins (1838 - 1910)*
  Abram Zachariah Bailey (1840 - 1871)*
  Bethel Bellamy Bailey (1843 - 1858)*
  Edward Bradford Bailey (1854 - 1923)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:

The virtues which endeared him to his
family and his friends, were equally conspicuous
in his public conduct, and in his devotion
to the best interest of his Country.

A Christian faith sustained his declining years
and smoothed his passage to the tomb.

"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord."
 
Burial:
Bellamy Cemetery
Jefferson County
Florida, USA
 
Created by: Andy
Record added: Nov 23, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 101177464
Gen William Bailey
Added by: Andy
 
Gen William Bailey
Added by: Andy
 
Gen William Bailey
Added by: Andy
 
 
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May GOD so bless you as you have blessed all of us!
- Jonathan Robert De Mallie
 Added: Feb. 24, 2014
 
 
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